Author: Ana Laura Naliati
In 2016, when I was just a teenager with a handful of dreams, far less experience and no direction in life whatsoever, I came to the United States for the first time. Since I had family in Georgia, it was a convenient destination for me and my family to settle for 2 months during my summer break prior to my senior year of high school. We would have the chance to experience what it’s like to live the “traditional American way of life” and still have a tourist experience, driving all the way to Florida to visit Disney World and the beach. Georgia was my entry gate to this unknown, but highly anticipated and very exciting country and culture, to which I’ve always dreamed of visiting. At that time, I was impressed by literally anything I could set my eyes on. From the very wide highways and the houses, to the restaurants and diners. Even McDonalds would stand out in my sight.
A few years later, now as an official U.S. legal resident and college student, I came back to this charming southern state that once welcomed my dreams. I could easily notice where I was by the sound on the waitress’ voice as she gets closer to my table asking “are y’all ready to order?” with that undisguisable accent. My perspective on this place has changed drastically after living in Boston for almost a year. Living in such a distinct, rich and unique community as the one I found at Hult, with so many crowded places overflowing with innovation, diversity and an incomparable amount of knowledge coming from any door you open. Unlike the Greater Boston, my place of arrival, more specifically Duluth – GA, has so much open space, wherever you go you’re in constant contact with nature. Every city is surrounded by natural reserves.
Around a decade ago, most of that area was majority farms, with some substantially large houses, and other smaller properties that gave room to many luxurious gated communities with golf courses and infinite green areas inside them. It’s such a peaceful resting-place with options for everybody. You can get your golf gear and go through the fields while the cool autumn breeze eases the heat from the sun. Or, you can just enjoy a delicious brunch at the clubhouse. For my birthday, I went to a local Brazilian steakhouse called Samba, just because I missed the food from back home so much, and there’s definitely no other like it. I spent most of the days trying to get away from the stress, the overwhelming amount of information, and from technology usage as possible. This setting was more than appropriate. It was a week for reflection, introspection, and gratitude, and in this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the path that I’m able to walk, for choosing Boston as my second home and not anywhere else, which couldn’t be more perfect, and for having this place as my destination, as I live and breathe!